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Journal of The National Research School in Business Economics and Administration





i f f eren t people have dif f eren t motives for pursuing a doctoral degree. Some are planning for an academic career, some for a future business career and some are not planning at all. Some consider their PhD a necessary pit-stop (or refill) in the midst of a demanding business career and some regard a doctoral education as the next natural thing to pursue after completing a master degree. The two statements “you haven’t finished school before you’ve got your PhD” and “the PhD is the new master” might be equally true. Academic institutions, public organizations and businesses all have an increasing demand for the specialised and analytical skills provided by PhD candidates. All reports signal an increasing need for people with a research education in the years to come. It is thus a bit of a no-brainer to state that the future for PhD candidates in business, economics and administration is bright. And that pursing a PhD within these fields is a relatively smart thing to do. Somewhat less of a no-brainer are all the choices you have to make during your PhD. Every single choice may potentially severely

impact the quality of your dissertation, the relevance of your work for your future career, and your relationship to other people. These choices include questions pertaining to methodology, ethics, funding, collaboration, co-authorship, publishing, and, ultimately, your future place of work. The National Research School in Business, Economics and Administration is designed to guide you in making these choices. The magazine that you are currently holding constitutes one small piece of this decision aid. Other important pieces are our doctoral courses, workshops, colloquia and conferences. In the current magazine “Journal of The National Research School” we invite you to meet people that already have made important choices. We invite you to read their stories and advice to get a better understanding of the complexity and diversity in the life of a scholar. The underlying theme of this magazine is “the road ahead”. We focus on different career opportunities and different ways to approach them. Read it with a nice cup of coffee and put it alongside your other journals when finished. You might need it later.

On behalf of The National Research School in Business Economics and Administration,



Journal of The National Research School in Business Economics and Administration






























The National Research School in Business Economics

The students must be admitted to the PhD program at

should take on the role as host for the national research

and Administration is a joint effort of 15 institutions

one of the member institutions.

school. The overall objective of the national research

to enhance the quality of the PhD education and to

The national research school is motivated by several

school is to enhance the quality of the education of

stimulate research.

challenges facing the PhD education within business

researchers within business economics and adminis-

economics and administration in Norway:

tration in Norway.

international collaboration on courses, seminars,

· Need of research and researchers

the national research school has

supervision and research so that the PhD education

· Fragmentation of the PhD education

six areas of specialisation:

takes place in scientific communities and networks of

· Increased demand for PhD candidates

Accounting, Economics, Finance, Management

These objectives are attained through national and

high international standards.

Science, Marketing and International Business, In order to meet these challenges, the National Coun-

Applicants to the research school are PhD students

cil of Business Administration (nrøa) and NHH

within business, economics and administration.

Norwegian School of Economics agreed that NHH

and Strategy and Management.

The National Research School in Business Economics and Administration is funded by The Research Council of Norway and the following partner institutions: University of Nordland/Bodø Graduate School of Business

Norwegian University of Life Sciences

University of Agder

Buskerud University College

Norwegian University of Science and Technology

University of Stavanger

Lillehammer University College

Tromsø University Business School

Vestfold University College

Molde University College

Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences

Østfold University College

NHH Norwegian School of Economics

Trondheim Business School

Aalesund University College

administrative project coordinator: Wenche Mørch

scientific coordinator: Bjarte Grønner director: Helge Thorbjørnsen

photography & design: Helge Hansen & Jonas Bostrøm writer: Tone Rønning Vike



became Norway’s first female business professor in 2000 and sees it as her duty to recruit more.

name Inger Johanne Pettersen position Professor at Trondheim Business School background Professor, PhD Econ from NHH, BSc Econ


he now has 20 years behind her in academia, but this was not the future she envisaged when she graduated from NHH in 1977.

“Women and men are different, which is evident socially, culturally and intellectually. I think that we complement one another. The differences make academia more diverse and complex, and that fuels creativity!”

“In the 1980s academia was a less obvious route,” she explains. “Most people imagined they’d go into industry or the public sector – it was very different from today. I myself spent eight years working in local government before deciding to do a PhD.”

Once Inger Johanne Pettersen had taken her first step into academia, there was no turning back.

What led you to that decision? “I started to ask difficult questions. Why do they spend the budget like that? Why is the accounts system like that? Curiosity was the trigger, but I didn’t feel that my questions were being taken seriously.” She signed up for a recruitment project under the Research Council of Norway and completed her PhD in business administration in 1993. She was made a professor in 2000. “There were no other female business professors at that time – can you imagine?” So what has it been like to be a woman in a male-dominated academic environment? “The challenges are at a social and collegial level. People identify with their own gender, and men have a tendency to recruit men. There’s been a greater sense of community between the men because they’ve been in the majority, but now more women are being recruited so I’m hoping for a snowball effect!” Although men do not necessarily come from Mars, nor women from Venus, there are gender differences, including in academia.

“I have a great deal of freedom here. I encounter a wide range of established researchers who push me intellectually, and I’m lucky enough to meet many young people and help build up a centre of academic excellence. It’s never boring.”

career in research. A long-term approach is important to me, because I don’t plan to retire for many years to come!” And a professor’s life is a happy life. “I get this burst of happiness when I feel I’ve mastered the art of writing and really managed to convey my scientific work with the written or spoken word. I’m happy when I guide my students to a good master’s or doctorate. I’m happy when I feel I’ve put something well in a lecture, or when I find a book which tells me something new. It’s this quest for understanding that spurs me on. And you don’t get it just by reading – understanding comes above all from interaction with other people.”

Is it not sometimes a little lonely being a researcher? “No. You know what, that image of researchers sitting all alone in their offices is a myth. Researchers are proactive and creative. The Internet gives us all these possibilities that we didn’t have before, and then there are seminars, workshops and conferences, both at home and abroad. We also collaborate with other institutions, which brings the possibility of placements. I actually think there can be a little too much travel – it’s time-consuming and takes the focus away from writing.” Pettersen’s view of what it means to have a career has evolved over the years. “To begin with, of course, it was important to get recognition for my work and build networks. Today, as a senior researcher, I feel that I have a responsibility to recruit new talents and open doors. This is also an important part of having a career.” Do you ever regret choosing academia over industry? “No, never. I have a job I enjoy, a flexible employer and a wealth of opportunities. In industry there is a very different pressure to produce, and there is a more short-term approach than in academia. I’m over 50 now and in the middle of a




“I kept one foot outside academia as a consultant on overseas aid and microfinance more or less throughout my doctorate,” he says. “I’m still on the board of a microfinance bank I helped found in Ecuador, and I travel several times a year to Ecuador, Kenya and Uganda to follow up on projects.”

name Roy Mersland position Associate Professor of International Organisation, Management and Business director doctoral programme at the university of agder


s a young business studies graduate, Mersland started at Christian daily newspaper Vårt Land, where he quickly advanced from selling advertising space to marketing manager before leaving to work for Mission Alliance in Ecuador. He hails from the far south of Norway and grew up in the heart of the country’s “bible belt” in Lyngdal. “I spent nine years following my heart and working as a missionary. We founded Banco D-MIRO, now one of the largest microfinance institutions in the country, with the aim of helping the poor. I devoted myself to the work, confident that my daily efforts meant something for those in poverty. But as I became less naïve, I realised that poverty is a more convoluted problem with complex structures that serve to keep the poor down.” Mersland is older now. Idealism is still in his blood but is now accompanied by a good dose of realism.

consultant the whole time. Because I’d worked with a microfinance bank organised as a foundation, I thought that greater commercialisation would be good for providing the poor with better services.” While working on his doctorate, he lost some of his rough edges. “As a researcher, you learn that the answers that seemed so obvious to you aren’t really there. The world isn’t black and white. To be a good researcher, it’s important to find new angles the whole time and move away from traditional ways of thinking. I try to pass on this lesson to my students.” Why did you decide to stay in academia? “The holidays, ha ha! You also get to explore your field in real depth and have the freedom to try out new methods. The secret to being a recognised researcher is to publish. Many think that research is mostly about reading, but that’s not the case – it’s about writing. You need to get into journals, preferably leading journals, and it’s important to be able to work your way into a research team. Research is no longer a oneman show – you need to have contact with other researchers and an ability to invite yourself in.”

“When I was younger and less experienced, I thought we could just wipe out poverty, whereas now I accept that we can only keep chipping away and that it will take a long time.” Mersland returned home to Norway with expertise that made him much in demand as a consultant on aid issues. There was no shortage of challenges, but with an MBA from Chile already behind him he was eventually tempted by a doctorate in finance.

Have you never been the lonely researcher closeted away in his office? “When I started on my PhD at the age of 40, I realised that it would be hard for me to be the best at theory, but that I’d acquired other skills in my work, which I try to build on. I’m good at networking and bringing researchers together, and I’m good at identifying relevant research questions. There’s too much navel-gazing and hair-splitting in academia, whereas I’m about getting practical results. Teamwork is key.”

“The University of Agder found my background exciting, so I started on a 50-75% scholarship while also working as a

What do you think of the academic life? “The academic world is cumbersome. I wish that the time it

takes from an idea being conceived to it being put into practice could be two days rather than two years.” What do you feel is missing? “More enthusiasm when something goes well. It’s important to have that scepticism and the odd bit of criticism, but it’d be great to have the occasional pat on the back as well. And the pay isn’t as good as it is in consulting.” And what elements do you treasure? What I see as real ethical integrity. The whole idea behind academia is to obtain new knowledge of the world, to be honest and not to cheat. It’s a privilege to work with so many clever people. So much so that sometimes I go around feeling a bit of a dunce!” Roy Mersland sees academia as a huge house of knowledge where his role is to supply some of the building blocks. “We researchers and lecturers are helping build the future. This is a unique role and perhaps something we don’t always show enough respect for. On the other hand, academia needs to realise that we lecturers are getting less and less time for research and teaching and are coming under more and more control. But luckily there’s still a way to go before we have to clock in and out.” He has almost 30 published articles to his name, but will probably always have one foot outside academia. “With one foot in the other camp, I always have access to unique data and research questions. I’ve no intention of moving it.”



INGVILD ALMĂ…S (34) was the first Norwegian woman to be sole author of an article in the prestigious American Economic Review and is looking to save the world.

name Ingvild Almås position Associate Professor at NHH background PhD Econ from NHH, BSc Econ


’m driven by a desire to contribute knowledge for the decision-makers in society,” she says. “I get so upset when decisions are made without a knowledge of the underlying facts. Major projects, whether international aid or domestic school reforms, need to be thoroughly evaluated before being implemented. Only then can we make the world a better place.”.

thorn in the side of the world bank Economist Ingvild Almås has won prizes, respect and renown for her research at only a young age. In 2011 Norway’s largest newspaper VG named her as a rising star in the research world. The same year she won the Norwegian central bank’s prize for the best doctoral thesis in the field of macroeconomics, and in April 2012 she became the first Norwegian woman to have an article published as sole author in the prestigious American Economic Review (AER): “International Income Inequality: Measuring PPP-bias by estimating Engel curves for food”. She found that the income data currently used to calculate the size of a country’s economy are deeply flawed – and it turned out that poor countries were far poorer than suggested by traditional data. She discovered this by measuring the share of income that households spend on food. This put the cat among the pigeons at both the World Bank and the United Nations. “I want to be a force to be reckoned with in the international economic debate, and I want to change the World Bank,” she says. “Right now I’m very concerned about poverty in China – has it really fallen as rapidly as the World Bank claims? My co-author Åshild Auglænd Johnsen (PhD student at the University of Stavanger) and I have found that it hasn’t!”

not the academic type Her choice of a career in academia is the result of being bitterly opposed to the unjust distribution of goods from an early age.

“On leaving school, I started by taking development studies at Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences. I found that different measurement methods gave different answers to whether global inequality had increased or decreased in recent decades. I thought this was worrying, because these different methods could be used strategically – those who thought the world had become a better place to live during the international aid era could choose one set of methods, while those who felt the world had become a better place as a result of liberalisation could choose another. This troubled me – and continued to do so throughout my five years studying economics at the University of Oslo.”

going to conferences and visiting other researchers working on the same things as me. I now have friends all over the world as a result of my work.”

Ingvild learned to use tools that enabled her to study these different measurement methods, and after completing her master’s degree she applied to do a PhD and explore her insights in greater depth.

Ingvild is keen, focused and impatient – good ingredients for a research career.

“I never saw myself as the academic type when I was younger – I preferred football to reading, which was a concern for my parents. I remember as a young girl hearing my mother saying with disappointment that I’d probably never go to university, which would have been rather unusual in my family.” Her mother did not need to worry. Ingvild has coped with those long hours alone with her PC, bent over price index calculations and estimates. She has also weathered setbacks and scepticism – because not everyone she met on her way to gaining her doctorate was convinced that ways of measuring global inequality were a suitable subject for her thesis. “That happened when I was at Cornell University – I’d work on other things during the day and then secretly on my price indices in the evenings. This is why the recognition I’ve had through prizes and publication in the AER mean so much to me.”

What does a career mean to you – prizes, publications and prestige, or commitment and a thirst for knowledge? “All of the above, really. For me, it’s incredibly important to be able to wake up and look forward to going to work. I’ve had a taste of this recently after becoming a mother. While I love spending time with my daughter, it was fantastic to come back and start doing a bit of work again after a couple of months almost entirely away from my research.”

“Being keen can be a good thing, though I think some people I work with find me a little too impatient at times.” She is therefore working on her patience – and on her English. “It’s important to present and write well in English, and that’s been a challenge for me.”

follow your interests Emerging from the somewhat more solitary world of the doctoral student, she is now part of the highly active research group The Choice Lab at NHH and has co-authors for everything she does. “I’ve always worked on what interests me the most. If you want to discover new things, you have to be curious, and that’s what you become when you have an interest in something and are passionate about what you’re doing.”

committed When are you happiest in your work? “When I solve a problem. It’s a wonderful feeling when you’re convinced by your own results or by someone else’s argument, or when you’re forced to see things in a new way. I’m inspired by important social issues, talented researchers and people who think in new ways. I’ve learned a lot from


Careers without frontiers


how should a doctoral student set about finding a job? “Remember the three Ps: publications, people and personality,” says Jon Holm, director of the Department for Humanities and Social Sciences at the Research Council of Norway. He comes to the research school armed with sound career advice for doctoral students. And it always starts with the student himself or herself.

He is delighted that the importance of broad horizons and mobility is beginning to sink in among today’s doctoral students. “Remember that a PhD isn’t necessarily the beginning of a research career, but the end of an education with limitless possibilities – and not just within an established research institution.”

“Write, network, be generous,” he begins. “A career in research isn’t just about your own subject and your own data, it’s also about general knowledge and skills. This general knowledge enables you to be part of the research community. It’s important here to have a broad base across disciplines and sectors. You need to be able to relate your research to society and industry. Another good tip is to practise communicating with different media and different audiences.” He urges everyone to look beyond their own country.

Globalisation has transformed the recruitment of researchers in the course of a generation. While institutions used to recruit from within their own ranks, these days they recruit internationally.

“Go to conferences, participate in networks – not only across disciplines and sectors, but also across national borders.”

The Research Council plays a coordinating role, helping Norwegian institutions attract the brightest talents.

It may be a jungle out there, but it is easy to have too narrow a focus with your nose stuck in your research.

“Manufacturing is migrating from Europe to China, so there’s an underlying need to build up a knowledge-based economy in Europe with a free flow of knowledge across national borders,” says the Research Council’s Elin Kollerud, who is responsible for the European Commission’s EURAXESS programme.

“You need to look beyond the positions advertised by your own institution or by the Research Council,” says Holm. “Check the EURAXESS portal, contact companies, apply for funding. You don’t necessarily need to create your own job, but you do need to build your own career. You must be willing to move, between both countries and sectors, and maybe get a job in industry – these days it boasts a broad network of PhD graduates.”


“The same goes for funding – when looking for finance for a project, it’s important also to look beyond the Research Council of Norway,” stresses Holm.

free flow

“Norway accounts for just half a per cent of the world’s research, so we need to keep up with the rest of the world when it comes to getting Norwegian researchers out and bringing international researchers in,” she says.

“EURAXESS aims to promote researcher recruitment in the EU and partner countries. The idea is to pave the way for career development, working conditions and mobility for researchers across national borders.” Kollerud stresses that research is a global enterprise and competition for the best minds is fierce. “If you want to get good results, you need the best people, and that’s what Norway aims to attract.”

Globalisation has transformed the recruitment of researchers in the course of a generation. While institutions used to recruit from within their own ranks, these days they recruit internationally. human capital According to Statistics Norway, human capital accounts for almost 80% of Norway’s national wealth and the country’s oil and gas reserves for only just over 10%. A report from a working group set up by the Ministry of Education and Research and the Norwegian Association of Higher Education Institutions shows that there is a growing need for doctoral graduates in the Norwegian labour market as a result of increased competition. While the target since 2003 has been 1,100 doctoral graduates per year, the report indicates an annual shortfall of 600-800 through to 2020.

JON HOLM Director Department for Humanities and Social Sciences The Research Council of Norway

This shortfall is most obvious in the fields of technology, mathematics, the natural sciences, agriculture and fisheries, and veterinary medicine. “In a knowledge-based society like ours, there has been strong growth in demand for doctoral graduates – but still only 26% go into the private sector,” says Jon Holm. “There’s a clear need for Norwegian industry to evolve in a more knowledge-based direction.”

into industry The Research Council has a number of industry-oriented programmes to encourage the development of a more knowledge-based economy. Many of the projects funded through these programmes are related to doctoral students, who will in turn be attractive to companies when recruiting. Another instrument is the Industrial PhD, a joint venture between companies and the Research Council, which provides public funding for R&D within companies by tying graduates to key development projects at the company that employs them. “Companies need high-level expertise,” says Elin Kollerud. “The idea behind the programme is to bring doctoral graduates, universities and companies together. As companies in Norway are relatively small, it’s hard for them to build up a research environment internally. The Industrial PhD is a way of co-financing research-based innovation and development at companies and gives them an opportunity to recruit people with high levels of expertise.”

this will have a snowball effect “Highly skilled personnel, ideally with research experience in industry, will often increase demand for external research services and help give research a clearer position in companies’ innovation strategies,” explains Kollerud. Norway’s target is to increase national investment in research from around 1.8% of GDP today to 3% in future, with


industry accounting for two-thirds of this. At present, the public sector and private sector put roughly equal amounts into research, so industry will need to more than double its investment to hit this national target. “If industry doesn’t have the systems in place for being at the forefront of technology and knowledge, it won’t be competitive,” says Kollerud.

“The majority of international PhD students are recruited in technology and the natural sciences,” says Holm. “Norwegian research needs fresh blood, and it’s important to ensure that the results are of broad, global value. We need an ability to absorb knowledge generated internationally, and this is a good argument for recruiting a PhD graduate.” ■ -

low score for innovation In the OECD’s annual Science, Technology and Industry Scoreboard, Norway scores reasonably well on doctoral education but poorly on other innovation parameters such as entrepreneurship and volumes of research in industry. “We rely too heavily on oil,” says Jon Holm. “Norway and Australia are considered the exception as countries that have performed well despite a heavily commodity-based industry, but the commodity-based industries have actually been behind much of the technological development and research in this country.

it is a myth that natural resources are a curse for research and development. “Recovering natural resources requires knowhow. Fish-farming, mining and new energy are examples of industries that will have an increased need for researchers in the near future. The transition to a green economy is not just a cost but also an opportunity to bring about large-scale investment involving industry.”

norway attractive Norway is an attractive country for foreign doctoral students. Few countries have such generous systems. Doctoral positions here come with a full salary, and while Denmark and Sweden offer something similar, Norway clearly has the “best” terms.


Advisor Euraxess

Department for Humanities and Social Sciences The Research Council of Norway



FRIPRO independent research projects



INDIVIDUAL POST-DOC | 2 to 3 years

For researchers of any nationality with 2-7 years of expe-

All positions on EURAXESS Jobs.

RESEARCHER PROJECT | up to 4 years

rience since completion of PhD (or equivalent degree) and scientific track record showing great promise

INDIVIDUAL SCHOLARSHIPS AT RCN Independent of other grants from the Research Council For master students and researchers (incl PhD)

canada, france, japan, china, germany, usa Not a salary (support to cover expenses) Approx. 13 500 NOK/month. -

Funding per grant: up to € 1.5 million (in some circumstances up to € 2 million) − Duration: up to 5 years − Evaluation criterion: scientific excellence

Positions from Marie Curie projects and Marie Curie Cofunded fellowship programmes on EURAXESS Jobs, otherwise you apply in August for IEF or IOF to the European Commission.

− Calls for proposals: published once a year − RCN may support your work with the proposal Up to NOK 50.000 per application

SUCCESS RATE 30 – 50 % Simple electronic application



− Sorted by country, discipline, institution, career stage,


Marie Curie − Germany, UK, Switzerland, Netherlands and Norway


− Research training, mobility and career development

european cooperation in science and technology

− 50 000 researchers (40% women) in the period

Bilateral research cooperation in Europe between 36 countries

− Coordinates nationally funded research

for researchers.

are well represented − Quite evenly distributed on disciplines − Apply directly to institution

1996-2010 − Goal of 30 000 MCA fellows in the period 2011-2013 − 120 nationalities

SOURCE: Jon Holm and Elin Kollerud, Research Council of Norway

− Offers network opportunities for young researchers − Gives valuable experience for applicants to the ERC − Two deadlines per year

Read more at or



PAMELA CHIDIGO IZUNWANNE Institution University of Agder, International Management Project The Role of Internal and External Networks in Organizational Knowledge Creation Age 29 | Nationality Nigerian

How has your PhD gone so far?

How do you envisage your future career?

This is my first year. It’s been a challenge,

I worked in the private sector in the Nether-

but I’m highly motivated. My topic is pretty

lands before coming here and had planned

ambitious in itself. As there’s a lot of theory

to go back, but I’ve gradually come to

involved as a doctoral student, the research

appreciate the independence and innovation

school and other conferences are incredibly

in academia. In industry you have to do what

welcome. They help me sharpen and retain

your company tells you at all times. I envisage

my focus.

alternating in some way between academia and the private sector in the longer term.

What is the greatest challenge? You’re your own boss the whole time and

Where will you be in ten years?

need self-esteem. Both self-esteem and mo-

I hope to be working in the consulting sector.

tivation wax and wane, and there was a bit of

The whole point of a PhD is to go into a

a dip once I got started on my research. But

subject in depth, so why not run my own

that’s just the way it goes with research. The

business once I’ve got the knowledge?

more in-depth you go, the less certain you become about things. But now I’ve got some data and I’m bouncing back again.


NADEZHDA SUROVTSEVA Institution Bodø Graduate School of Business, Accounting Project Logistic Management of Big Projects in the Russian High North Age 29 | Nationality Russian

How has your PhD gone so far?

How do you envisage your future career?

I’ve been here for three years now. When I

I’d like to work at a university but do research

finished my bachelor’s degree in Bodø in

based on problems in industry. I really don’t

2006 I went back to Russia and worked in the

want to write about something that doesn’t

export department at Maersk. I never thought

make a difference out there. To me, academia

I’d be back. But then came the financial

is an opportunity to develop – for the rest of

crisis, and the last thing I wanted to be was a

my life!

Russian housewife. A doctorate brings many opportunities, though of course it can be

Where will you be in ten years?

tough spending so much time alone. But if

My big dream was to be a professor, other-

you’re proactive, things happen, and I feel

wise I’d never have come back to Norway.

that my field is one for the future.

Conditions in Norway are fantastic – in Russia a PhD position is not a paid job. I feel

What is the greatest challenge?

inspired by the lovely Norwegian lady pro-

The people here in northern Norway are

fessors. They seem to lead a normal life with

open and it isn’t hard to integrate. It doesn’t

a good balance between family and career.

make sense, though, having most of the

And as I say, they’re really lovely! It’s not like

foreigners in one building and the Norwe-

that at home.

gians in another. This makes it difficult to find Norwegian doctoral students to talk to. I feel like a proper employee, though, and I get all of the funding I ask for. Now that the university college is a fully fledged university, I hope to see more doctoral students and people here.



KAROLINE ULRIKKE DALE DAHR Institution NHH Project Antecedents of New Service Success: A Service-Dominant Logic Perspective Age 32 | Nationality Norwegian

How has your PhD gone so far?

How do you envisage your future career?

The first two months have given me only a

I have a strong academic instinct and like

taste of the exciting years I have ahead of

to go into depth. There’s a good reason

me. I feel incredibly privileged to be given

why I already have an extensive academic

the opportunity to immerse myself more

background with two bachelor’s degrees and

deeply in the subject I find most exciting. It’s

one master’s. The theoretical world is a place

rewarding to be among experts in the field

I could imagine working, also partly because

and get to improve my methodological and

the role of communicator appeals to me.

analytical skills.

While working on one of my bachelor’s degrees and on my master’s thesis, I developed

What is the greatest challenge?

a keen interest in research-based consulting,

You face a number of challenges as a new

based on contracts from companies. This

PhD student. First, you need to find an excit-

gave me a good understanding of how crit-

ing research topic of international relevance

ical linking theory and empirics is for praxis.

which can form the basis for your particular

In the future I hope to juggle consulting work

research project. You then need to narrow

and academic research at the same time.

this down and come up with a feasible design. You also need to learn a lot about

Where will you be in ten years?

methodology at the start of a doctorate,

Given my interest in both academia and

which is no mean feat. And there are aspects

contract research, I have my sights set on

of your teaching duties that are a challenge

a position in higher education. I could very

at the start, especially having to supervise

well imagine having a special focus on

master’s students’ work on assignments and

the Norwegian travel industry. There’s real

dissertations when you’re at the very begin-

potential for development there, and it’s an

ning of a research education yourself.

area where the government is calling for more research to facilitate and create more economic growth.


IRFAN IRFAN Institution University of Agder Project International Business and Outsourcing Age 31 | Nationality Pakistani

How has your PhD gone so far?

How do you envisage your future career?

I’m very motivated, because anyone who

I come from Pakistan, a developing country,

wants to go far in academia and expand their

and I’d like to serve my country with the

horizons in their own profession needs a doc-

knowledge I’ve gained. To me, a career

torate. I’m always learning something new,

means constantly learning new things and

and for me a conference like the research

communicating them successfully to others.

school is very useful.

I want to publish articles in leading journals. Knowledge is the number one thing for me.

What is the greatest challenge? I began my doctorate in 2010 and think I’ve

Where will you be in ten years?

learnt a lot, but it’s also been a tough and

I see myself as a lecturer at a university in

complex process. You have to take criticism,


and so you need a high degree of precision. You also have to come up with something new, which isn’t that easy. Financially, it’s a challenge because I’m not on a scholarship and have to work in a restaurant on the side.



KRISTINE EVENSEN REINFJORD Institution University of Agder, International Management Project Management Structures in Global Virtual Teams Age 32 | Nationality Norwegian

How has your PhD gone so far?

How do you envisage your future career?

I’ve learnt a huge amount and had an

I envisage a job which is meaningful based

opportunity to work on exciting projects.

on my own values, and where I feel that my

Since 2005 I’ve been involved in ICT-based

contribution makes a difference in some way.

learning through the UN University and the

Money is important, of course, but it’s more

University of Agder, first as a master’s student

important to have a job which is a part of my

and then as an online supervisor. In my doc-

life and not my entire life. I want to balance

toral work, I’ve chosen to go deeper into this

work with family life.

subject, focusing on ICT-based cooperation in an international context. As part of my

Where will you be in ten years?

teaching duties, I’m the course coordinator in

That’s hard to say, but I hope to be working

e-learning. This means working on a relevant

in an international, multicultural environment

case and an opportunity to reflect on my own

where I feel that I learn something new each


day. I want to learn!

What is the greatest challenge? I worked in HR management in the local government sector, and my ambition was to continue in academia in an international environment when I started. Now I’m not so sure whether academia is the way forward for me in future. I value the flexibility and the opportunity to structure your own time, but with an education in the social sciences and a background in aid, I see this gap between aid and business, you could say. I’ve taken my time to find my place, but I think it’s positive that people with a background other than economics are accepted onto the doctoral programme. I’m now working for the Department of Development Studies and enjoying it.complex process.


TAFESSE ESHETIE WONDWESEN Institution Bodø Graduate School of Business, Marketing and International Business Project Advantage-Generating Resources in the Trade Show Industry: Insights from an Empirical Study Age 29 | Nationality Ethiopian

How has your PhD gone so far?

How do you envisage your future career?

I’ve been in Bodø for two years now. I’m stud-

I haven’t given it that much thought, but I

ying consumption patterns and marketing

aim to be a good researcher and publish in

strategies, and in a nutshell I have to say that

leading journals. I want to learn more and get

it’s very lonely. I do most things on my own.

recognition for the work I do.

A PhD programme is not the best place if you want to meet lots of new people, but I’m

Where will you be in ten years?

basically OK with this. That’s just the way it is.

Ha, ten years? I could be dead for all I know!

My focus is on completing my doctorate and

But I do want to go back to my home country.

getting a job.

It’s been a long journey and it’s not over yet. I miss my family, my neighbours, the com-

What is the greatest challenge?

munity, the culture, the sun – even the desert

Coping with spending so much time on your

storms! My goal is to do something positive


for my country in the future.


Publish or perish? L

ike it or not, publishing is the key to an academic career. Most of our disciplines are, for various good reasons, focused on publishing in international peer-reviewed journals. The focus on publication is salient at every level from the funding of Universities and Business Schools to the rewards and recognition of individual researchers. For many new PhD scholars, the world and rules of publishing can be confusing, slightly intimidating and difficult to understand. Which journal would best suit my topic? How should I position my work? What is a good journal? What is journal impact? How should I deal with the evil reviewers’ comments? What are the ethical guidelines of good research? Publishing has much in common with sports. It is competitive, requires stamina and skills, and it can be nerve-racking but at the same time highly rewarding. Getting your work published in a high-impact journal can be quite a kick. And like most sports, you become better the earlier you get into the game. Submitting your work to a journal during the PhD studies may give you a head start and a steep learning curve. Working with your supervisor in preparing a manuscript for submission may help you see where the true gold is buried in your dissertation work. On the following pages we introduce you to some pieces of advice from some of the game’s insiders. We also present you with some key concepts from the world of academic publishing. The increased importance of and competition in academic publishing might make it tempting for some scholars to take shortcuts in their research. Questions relating to ethics and plagiarism are therefore more relevant than ever. We will introduce you to some perspectives on this shortly. The tolerance for foul play is, and should be, zero in any academic institution.





Pervez N. Ghauri i n t e r n at i o n a l bu s i n e s s k i n g ’ s c o l l e g e London



Pervez N. Ghauri i n t e r n at i o n a l bu s i n e s s k i n g ’ s c o l l e g e London


esearch is a process of planning, executing and investigating in order to find answers to our specific questions. But in order to find reliable answers to our questions, we need to do this investigation in a systematic manner, so that others can understand it and believe in our findings. There are thus three salient features of research; 1) Finding an answer to a specific research question, 2) Doing it in a systematic manner, and 3) Ensuring that others can understand and believe in our results. The first two features are often dealt with in several courses in methodology and numerous methodology books. However, not enough importance is given to the fact that we do not do research for our own sake. We do it for others to understand and believe in it. To achieve this, we need to disseminate our research results so that knowledge can be developed in an incremental way. The only way to do this is, to convey our findings by publishing our papers in journals or as books. As we say, “knowledge that cannot be conveyed has no value”. Getting published is therefore the ultimate goal of doing research. Getting your findings published is however, not an easy task. As others will believe in your result and perhaps act on it, it needs to be done in a systematic way and can be scrutinised. That is why in academic journals, there is a long tradition of ‘blind review’; that at least two experts in the particular field review/scrutinise your paper without knowing who has written it. These scholars look at your research question, your knowledge in the field and methods to make a judgement that whether your results are trustworthy or not. In addition to doing research, your task is also to convince the editors and reviewers about the issues mentioned above. This can be achieved by following a somewhat systematic procedure while you are writing a paper for a journal publication. Below are some suggestions about this procedure: For all publications or reports, you need to first understand your audience, who are the people who will read, scrutinise and learn from your paper. In other words, you need to position your paper according to the audience. In academic publishing, first of all it is the editor of the respective journal and then the reviewers. This means that first of all you need to convince the editor that your paper is suitable for that particular journal. Secondly, you need to convince the editor and the reviewers that your paper is going to make a contribution towards knowledge development and to which particular literature/theory. This implies that your paper needs to be ‘anchored’ or grounded in a theory. With more than 20 years of experience as journal editor, my view is that most of the papers that are table reject (rejected without a review process) are due to the fact that they are sent to a journal prematurely. This is a pity, as this can be remedied very easily. You need to let your colleagues or supervisor read your paper and point out the weaknesses. Another way is to first present the paper in a seminar or a conference to find out how other see it, so that you can im-


he would have found the same weaknesses and typos. In this case, you need also to update the literature, as (at least) more than a year has passed since you last wrote the paper. A solid and argumentatively written methodology section is the backbone of an academic paper. It is the methodology section that will convince the reader that whether your findings are reliable and trustworthy or not. While writing the methodology section, most authors only explain data collection method and often without any arguments. But in addition to arguing for the data collection method, explaining and arguing for the data analysis method used in the study is equally important to convince the reviewers.


PERVEZ N GHAURI Professor International Business King’s College London Pervez completed his PhD at Uppsala University in Sweden where he also taught for some years. At present he is Professor of International Business at King’s College London. Pervez has published 25 books and numerous articles. He consults and offers training programmes to a number of organisations such as; BP, Airbus Industries and Ericsson. He is Editor in Chief for International Business Review and Editor (Europe) for the Journal of World Business.

prove it before sending it to a journal. Sometimes papers are table rejected due to the fact that you are not following ‘Instructions to Authors’ for the particular journal, while these instructions are easily available. Normally we send our paper to a journal and when it comes back with very critical reviews with a ‘reject’ decision, after been depressed for a couple of weeks/months, we send it to another journal. A common mistake here is that we do not bother to revise the paper according to the comments given by the reviewers of the first journal. What we do not understand is that even if you send a paper to another journal, it might end up with the same reviewers just because they are the experts in the particular topic. Quite often, as an editor, I get messages from the reviewers that “A couple of months ago, I reviewed the same paper you sent me for another journal…and the author has not even bothered to look at the comments I gave at that time, as all the weaknesses and even the typos that I pointed out are still there”. My belief is that even if it had gone to another reviewer,

Writing for academic journals is quite difficult, even if we are writing in our own language. But if we are not native speakers, this becomes quite complicated. It is therefore advisable that before you submit a paper to a journal, you should get it language edited. It is a pity that a research paper dealing with an important topic that has been rigorously researched and written gets rejected due to language flaws. In addition to pure language issues, most journals follow/demand certain writing style, it is therefore, wise to read some papers in the particular journal before you position your paper and write up for that journal. Getting published is difficult but it is necessary if you want to be a good researcher and make a career in academia. The only way to measure your research capabilities is to see whether you are able to publish in academic journals or not. Earlier “Publish or Perish” used to be valid only in the United States, but it is now a norm in most parts of the academic world. As mentioned above, it is not a ‘mission impossible’ and can be achieved with some careful thinking and following academic traditions and procedures. ■

Ten Here are some simple pieces of advice that have worked for me and others. In my experience as editor and reviewer, I have seen too many times how violating them leads to failure (i.e., rejection). They are by no means the final word on publishing. Neither do they guarantee success. But I am confident that following these rules of thumb will increase your probability of getting an acceptance.

01 get started early Think about publishing at an early stage of your Ph.d. program. Write in English (of course!). Submit to journals during the PhD program.

02 write with others You learn, build confidence – and co-authored have higher impact on average. It is usually best to write with reputed and experienced seniors who knows what is worth working on.

03 sketch the paper Begin by building your research paper as a Power Point Presentation. The “modular” structure (i.e., the slide format) of PPT helps you think in terms of the traditional parts of a research article, that is, Introduction with positioning and motivation, Theory Review, Hypothesis Build-Up, Research Instrument, Data and Method, Results, Discussion, and Conclusion. Plus you have a presentation!

04 then present, present, present Welcome grilling. Actively seek the advice of others. Ask to present at other departments. Don’t be embarrassed to send your stuff to senior people. Send your paper(s) to those senior people whose work you cite, criticize, extend, test… -- they are the ones who will take a natural interest in your work. Don’t expect them to read multiple drafts

PIECES OF ADVICE ON HOW TO G E T P U B L I S H E D (IN JOURNALS) by Nikolai J. Foss Professor at the Department of Strategy and Management, NHH Norwegian School of Economics

05 targetting matters Write with a specific journal in mind. If you can’t naturally cite your “conversants” and several papers from your target journal in the first few paragraphs of your proposed paper, rethink your target and/or you “conversants”. Choose a journal that has already dealt with the relevant issue – journals like to “monopolise” certain topics. Link up to an on-going academic debate/topic, and don’t be shy of a bit of controversy. Get the advice of others, not just your advisor; where do they think the paper may make a fit?

06 stick to the standards Write in the style of your chosen journal, so that your manuscript sounds like a paper from that journal. For example, US management journals like you to elaborate a lot on your survey method (even when the national statistical agency carried out the survey). Also, management journals tend to have more references than economics journals.

07 title is important You should have a clear and preferably catchy title that indicates the contribution of the paper (hints: ““A Garbage Can Model of Organisational Choice” is cool; “Antecedents of Convergence and Divergence in Strategic Positioning: The Effects of Performance and Aspiration on the Direction of Strategic Change” is uncool).

08 a clear abstract is of the essence

Tell the potential reader, in as few sentences as possible, what she will find. Try one sentence each on motive, prior research, data, method, key results.

09 positioning & motivation are crucial Which conversations should I participate in? Who are the most important “conversants”? What are these scholars talking about? What are the most interesting things I can add to the conversation? Good motivation explains why your research question is important, to whom it is important, how solving it will further research in a well-defined field, and (ideally) even how others may build on your research (the latter may be put in the Concluding Discussion).

10 don’t be too impatient Why get a basically sound idea killed because of bad writing, unclear theory development, ill-suited methods, etc.? Always let your paper “mature” for 1-2 months before you look at it again. Then revise … and revise once more. Then, perhaps it may be submitted.


Professor Knowledge-based Value Creation Department of Strategy and Management Norwegian School of Economics Professor of Strategy Copenhagen Business School

His research and teaching centers around strategic management, particularly the resource-based view, knowledge management and entrepreneurship. Foss has published articles in journals like the Academy of Management Review, Academy of Management Journal, Organization Science, Strategic Management Journal and other leading journals. He is a panel member of the European Research Council and a member of Academia Europaea.


Making an impact by Bjarte Grønner


s you should have noticed by now, it is essential for academics to publish, to start doing so early and preferably to publish in highly ranked journals. When discussing where to publish and the quality of relevant journals you may have come across different quality measures like the Journal Impact Factor, 5-year Journal Impact Factor, Eigenfactor Score and Article Influence Score.

indexed by Thomson Reuter’s Journal Citation Reports. In a given year, the impact factor of a journal is the average number of citations received per paper published in that journal during the two preceding years. For example, if a journal has an impact factor of 2.5 in 2011, then the papers published in the journal in 2009 and 2010 received 2.5 citations each on average.

Below, you will find a short explanation of these measures. For those who want to dig deeper into these issues, please be aware the existence of an extensive literature about such measures. A starting point here could be to type “journal impact measures” into your favourite internet search engine.

5-year journal impact factor

journal impact factor This measure reflects the average number of citations to articles published in science and social science journals. Journal impact factor is often used as a proxy for the relative importance of a journal within its field i.e. journals with higher impact factor are seen as more important than those with lower ones. Impact factors are calculated yearly for journals

eigenfactor score In the same way as Impact Factor, the Eigenfactor Score and Article Influence Score use citation data to assess the influence of a journal in relation to other journals (for more information see e.g., www.

The Norwegian Scientific Index

Publication type

is a comprehensive Norwegian bibliographic database established by the Norwegian government, aimed at covering all academic publication channels, i.e. academic journals, series with ISSN and scholarly presses. It is operated by the Norwegian Association of Higher Education Institutions on behalf of the Ministry of Education and Research, and is a part of CRISTIN (Current Research Information System in Norway).

(Norwegian: Norsk vitenskapsindeks, NVI)

The index divides journals and publishers into “level 1” and “level 2”, where “level 2” is reserved for the most prestigious journals and publishers within the discipline (for further information on scientific journals, series and publishers see: http:/


In the same way 5-year Journal Impact factor reflects the average number of times articles from a given journal published in the past five years have been cited in e.g., 2011. It is calculated by dividing the number of citations in e.g., 2011 by the total number of articles published in the five previous years.

the eigenfactor score reflects the number of times articles from the journal published in the past five years have been cited in a given year (e.g., 2011). In addition, the measure also considers which journals have contributed with these citations so that highly cited journals will influence more than lesser cited journals. References from one article in a journal to another article from the same journal are removed. In this way Eigenfactor Scores are not influenced by journal self-citation.

article influence score The Article Influence Score reflects the average influence of a journal’s articles over the first five years after publication. It is calculated by dividing a journal’s Eigenfactor Score by the number of articles in the journal, normalized as a fraction of all articles in all publications. The mean Article Influence Score is 1.00. In this way, a score greater than 1.00 indicates that each article in the journal has above-average influence and a score less than 1.00 indicates below-average influence.












LEVEL I Includes all publications that may be defined as academic. In practice, the content of this level is defined on a continual basis by means of an updated register of academic publication channels.

LEVEL II These weights are referred to as publication points which are one of the building blocks in the research component of the budgets for universities and university colleges in Norway.

Is granted by national expert committees for each discipline. The publication channels in “level 2” should comprise roughly

The registration of publications in CRISTIN generates points. In publications where there are several authors, the points are divided between the authors (author-shares).

one-fifth of the publications produced by an academic or research field.

KEY CONCEPTS social sciences citation index Social Sciences Citation Index, accessed via Web of Science, provides researchers, administrators, faculty, and students with access to the bibliographic and citation information they need to find research data, analyse trends, journals and researchers, and share their findings. abs academic journal quality guide The ABS Academic Journal Quality Guide is a hybrid based partly on peer review, partly on statistical information relating to citation and partly upon editorial judgments following on from the detailed evaluation of many hundreds of publications over a long period. It provides guides to the range, subject matter and relative quality of journals in which business and management and economics academics might publish the results of their research - empirical and theoretical. The Journals included cover a wide range of disciplines, fields and sub-fields within the social sciences, representing an inclusive approach to what constitutes business and management research.

google scholar citations Google Scholar Citations provide a way for authors to keep track of citations to their articles. You can check who is citing your publications, graph citations over time, and compute several citation metrics. You can also make your profile public, so that it may appear in Google Scholar results when people search for your name. google scholar metrics Google Scholar Metrics provide ways for authors to gauge the visibility and influence of recent articles in scholarly publications. Scholar Metrics summarise recent citations to many publications, to help authors as they consider where to publish their new research. You can search for publications by their titles, and then compare the publications that are of interest to you. Finally, if you wish to see

s-woba (scandinavian working papers in business administration) S-WoBA is a repository for bibliographic data about Nordic working papers in Business Administration. In most cases the working papers are also available in electronic form and can be downloaded from S-WoBA social science research network Social Science Research Network (SSRN) is a platform for worldwide dissemination of social science research and is composed of a number of specialised research networks in each of the social sciences.

repec (research papers in economics) RePEc is a collaborative effort of volunteers in 75 countries to enhance the dissemination of research in Economics and related sciences. The heart of the project is a decentralised bibliographic database of working papers, journal articles, books, books chapters and software components, all maintained by volunteers. The collected data is then used in various services. So far, over 1400 archives have contributed about 1.2 million research pieces from 1,500 journals and 3,300 working paper series. Over 30,000 authors have registered and 70,000 email subscriptions are served every week.



Academic Ranking of World Universities was first pub-

Six rankings are published annually, relating to MBA,

lished in June 2003 by the Center for World-Class Uni-

EMBA, Master in Finance and Master in Manage-

versities and the Institute of Higher Education of Shang-

ment programmes, as well as non-degree executive

hai Jiao Tong University, China, and then updated on an

education courses. There is also a ranking of top

annual basis. More than 1000 universities are actually

European Business Schools.

ther references see http://www.socialcapitalgate-

ranked by ARWU every year and the best 500 are pub-


lished on the web (

There seems to be an increasing interest in measuring institutional quality. Different stakeholders

google scholar Google Scholar provides a way to broadly search for scholarly literature. From one place, you can search across many disciplines and sources: articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions, from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities and other web sites.

which articles in a publication were cited the most and who cited them, click on its h-index number to view the articles as well as the citations underlying the metrics.

such as governments, business and employers pay attention to institutional quality for different reasons for example accountability, policy-making, partnership and recruitment. To understand institutional quality, these stakeholders might turn to various sources of data i.e., rankings. Below, is a short description of two of them. For fur-



“The role of whistle-blower is a tricky one,” Hallvard Fossheim begins soberly, glancing round at the business doctoral students assembled before him. They listen attentively, perhaps because the day is young, perhaps because research ethics are so ingrained in their consciousness, or perhaps because they have already felt that pressure to publish and been tempted by those forbidden shortcuts. “It’s important to remember the asymmetry in power. The role of whistle-blower is particularly difficult in cases where the whistle-blower is a junior doctoral student,” Fossheim warns.

of the Sudbø case. A National Commission for the Investigation of Scientific Misconduct was also finally set up as a direct consequence.

patients. A total of 13 scientific articles had to be withdrawn, Sudbø was stripped of his doctorate from the University of Oslo, and numerous co-authors were affected.

personal and dramatic

“The Sudbø case was an eye-opener for us all and put scientific misconduct on the agenda – Norway was no better than any other country in this respect,” says Torkild Vinther, the commission’s director.

Scientific misconduct was already in the spotlight, as this came only shortly after the collapse of South Korean geneticist Woo Suk Hwang’s house of cards. Hwang became a global celebrity for “managing to extract stem cells from a cloned human embryo” (Erik Tunstad: Juks, p. 167), but lost everything when it became known that he had falsified data and broken laws prohibiting payment for human eggs for research.

Fossheim is director of the National Committee for Research Ethics in the Social Sciences and Humanities (NESH), which guides and advises researchers. “Whistle-blowing cases are always very personal and dramatic for both parties,” he says. “The whistle-blower must be able to escape unofficial reprisals.” Scientific misconduct damages not only the reputation of the offender, but also the institutions concerned, the good name of science itself, and even democracy via political decisions based on research results. Fossheim underlines the individual’s responsibility for his or her own ethical conduct, but notes that institutions have prime responsibility for dealing with suspected irregularities.

CUDOS Research ethics can be summed up with the acronym cudos

introduced by sociologist Robert Merton. Hallvard

Fossheim explains the principles that guide researchers along the narrow path of scientific integrity as follows: Communalism – research should be shared. Universalism – All scientists can contribute regardless of

“The identity of the whistle-blower cannot be concealed, because allegations of this kind cannot be made anonymously. It’s therefore important for institutions to have good procedures for dealing with this. We need a climate where it’s possible to be a researcher.”

race, gender, nationality and cultural background.

Institutions may feature close ties, personal differences and disagreement over whether or not something is wrong. “In such cases it’s crucial that the institution isn’t tempted to hide behind a cloak of secrecy or, even worse, trivialise what has happened.”

“The opposite of this is fabrication, falsification and


“There have been no unambiguous scientific studies of how widespread scientific misconduct is, but it’s estimated that around 1% of researchers are guilty,” says Torkild Vinther. International studies have shown that 10-15% of researchers have broken the rules of good scientific practice, which corresponds with the results of a study carried out in Norway in the 1990s.

Disinterestedness – Scientists should act for the benefit of science and not for financial or career gains. Organised Scepticism – New research should be critically reviewed before being accepted.

plagiarism (FFP). It’s difficult to say how widespread it is, but there’s a lot of money at stake, because research is now big business,” says Fossheim.

scientific misconduct: ffp “Research fraud, more formally known as scientific misconduct, can be briefly defined as fabrication, falsification and plagiarism (FFP)” (Torkild Vinther: Fusk og plagiering).The Norwegian Act on Ethics and Integrity in Research – the Research Ethics Act – was introduced in 2006 in the wake

tip of the iceberg

For a long time being a Norwegian scientist was a source of embarrassment. The “whole world” knew about the monumental research fraud perpetrated by cancer researcher Jon Sudbø when he fabricated patient data by simply making up

The National Commission for the Investigation of Scientific Misconduct deals with 10-15 cases a year. “The number varies from year to year, but these are just the cases that we investigate or are informed about. Plagiarism dominates the picture, but there are also other types of violation of good scientific practice that are more widespread than FFP, notably the question of authorship rights. It has proved difficult to differentiate between what is scientific misconduct and what is down to personal conflicts.”

publish or perish Now that research has become big business and “publish or perish” is the new mantra of academia, research ethics are coming under pressure. “The competition to publish has become so intense that some choose to go over to the dark side,” says Torkild Vinther. “Universitetsavisa referred recently to an article in Information in Denmark claiming a 1,200% increase in the number of scientific articles withdrawn from Nature over the past decade, while the number of articles had increased by just 44%. Half of the withdrawals are believed to be down to fraud or suspected fraud.” Hallvard Fossheim does not see anything inherently wrong in increased pressure and competition to publish, but is concerned about the shortcuts that many may be tempted to take. “This might mean publishing other people’s results without saying where they came from, or nabbing an idea from a conference and presenting it as your own. In reality, this isn’t a matter of a shortcut but plagiarism and a form of theft.” Self-plagiarism is another form of misconduct many people are unaware of. “Yes, this is basically about getting the greatest possible number of articles published on the basis of the least possible amount of original thought, sometimes known as salami slicing,” says Fossheim. “One key litmus test is openness. Can you be open about whether the material has already been published for a different readership? “And if you don’t feel safe being open and airing your ideas with your research colleagues, this also points to unhealthy practices in an institution. The best treatment for scientific misconduct is a healthy lifestyle.”


The principle of transparency is also crucial in contract research. “If you order research into one thing, and the researcher only wants to look into something else, the scene is set for conflict,” says Fossheim. “Something which is almost always wrong is when research results are concealed. So it’s important to agree in advance that the research results are to be published. All research benefits from openness.”

young, not quite successful men Research fraud has been around for centuries. In his book Juks: hvordan forskere svindler – og hvorfor det ikke er så farlig [Fraud: why researchers cheat – and why it’s not that dangerous], research journalist, author and university lecturer Erik Tunstad gives a number of examples. He shows why researchers choose to cheat even though, for them, credibility is everything. “The vast majority of scientific irregularities are probably a matter of tweaking otherwise correct data,” he writes. He claims that there is less misconduct among researchers than in other professional groups, because the need for integrity is so fundamental and there is so far to fall. It happens nonetheless, and according to Tunstad the typical offender is an ambitious young man with an above-average iq who has perhaps not been quite as successful as he might have liked. Fraudsters used to be utopians, but these days they are career men, he says. Torkild Vinther disagrees. “I think the picture is much more complex. There are many different forms and causes of scientific misconduct.”

How is the growing number of doctoral students impacting on research ethics? “More PhD students mean more competition, but also that programmes are becoming more systematic and research ethics are becoming an integral part of the programmes and the contracts entered into,” says Vinther. “In this respect, research schools are making a positive contribution to research ethics.” What are the greatest challenges facing PhD students in terms of research ethics? “As students, they’re in a weak position in cases where the study design does not take account of, say, the risk of re-traumatising a group of people, or of how sensitive information could be abused,” says Hallvard Fossheim. “Here the supervisor has a clear and unequivocal responsibility for his or her students.” Where are the ethical grey areas? “They often have to do with personal data and the relationship with research subjects.”

fighting for recognition and power Imbalances of power and recognition in research projects involving multiple parties are another type of case that ends up on Hallvard Fossheim’s desk. “There’s this constant battle between institutions for publication points. Conflicts arise over who should get the credit when a researcher on a project changes job and moves from one institution to another. The best solution is to decide this in advance and have clear guidelines for who is in charge of what, and what rights and obligations apply.”

The National Commission for the Investigation of Scientific Misconduct

Research Ethics Checklist This list applies to all disciplines and summarises what the National Committee for Research Ethics in Science and Technology (NENT) believes to be the most important issues to be resolved in connection with a research project.

established in 1990. The Research Ethics Act defines scientific misconduct as “falsification, fabrication, plagiarism and other serious breaches of good scientific practice that have been committed wilfully or through gross negligence when planning, carrying out or reporting on research” (1, section 5). The use of the word “serious” means that there is a gap between what is legally unacceptable and what is actually desirable – a grey area between the two extremes where research may be ethically questionable without constituting a “serious” breach. In the preparatory work on the act, the Ministry of Education and Research gave research institutions prime responsibility for dealing with cases of possible misconduct (2, sections 7.2 and 11.1). Norway’s research ethics committees review misconduct in all disciplines and have the overall goal of stimulating debate about research and research ethics, methods and the way results are used. They are to prevent misconduct in research primarily through information and advice.

1 T H E P R OJ E C T ’ S A I M A N D M E T H O D


Will the project’s aim and method violate generally accepted ethical values? This might be the case if: - the project helps increase control and manipulation of individuals in society - environmental issues are not adequately addressed - the project has questionable military/defence implications - the project contravenes Norwegian law

Could the implementation of the project harm people, animals or the environment to a non-negligible degree? If so, do the people involved accept this?

2 R E S E A R C H I N V O LV I N G H U M A N S U B J E C T S

- Has the research subjects’ informed consent been obtained in an acceptable manner? - Is it clear that the subjects are not in a position of depend ence that might influence their consent?



W H I S T L E - B LO W I N G

Will a project worker who has serious ethical concerns in the implementation of a research project be able to take these to an independent body? Will this be known and decided in advance? Reproduced from Forskningsetisk veileder, a guide to research ethics published by NENT in 1992.


Will all personal data be sufficiently anonymised to ensure adequate data protection? SOURCES: Vinther, Torkild: Fusk og plagiering [Cheating and plagiarism] (Last updated: 19 August 2011), National Research Ethics Committees. Available online at: Tunstad, Erik: Juks [Fraud], 2011.




With three careers under his belt, Karl Ove Aarbu is a thoroughly modern man.


name Karl Ove Aarbu position Chief analyst in business intelligence at Tryg, also an adjunct professor at NHH qualifications PhD from NHH, Cand Polit in economics from the University of Oslo background Research, public administration, industry


elping to grow a business is exciting and very different from the years I spent as a doctoral student. Decisions are made more quickly here than in academia, to say the least.”

They say that people should have three careers these days. If that is indeed the case, then Karl Ove Aarbu is a thoroughly modern man. Having started out as a researcher with Statistics Norway, he moved into public administration at the Ministry of Finance before switching to the insurance company Tryg, only to jump ship again, this time to do a PhD at NHH where he still lectures, and then head back to Tryg, working in business intelligence. “In my case, a PhD meant acquiring expertise that can be used to build statistical models based on large quantities of data. A master’s in economics just isn’t enough. In my experience, big companies need people with solid statistical expertise. Many companies have enormous databases which they can’t make the most of because they don’t have this expertise.” There is a steady hum of voices from the large, bright canteen at the Tryg building in Bergen, where Aarbu encounters a huge variety of skilled colleagues every day, around a thousand in all. Some are lawyers, others are engineers and others still are police investigators, to name but a few. After four years on a scholarship at NHH he chose to return to his former employer and the insurance sector. “I’d always felt a pull towards research. Several years of working life had thrown up lots of problems that I just didn’t have time to work on at a day-to-day level. It was then that I decided to try to do a doctorate at NHH.”

The title of his PhD was: Empirical Essays on Risk Taking and Insurance. “I had an agreement to come back to Tryg but was genuinely unsure of whether I would because we hadn’t agreed that I’d be able to return to the job I’d left.” Karl Ove threw himself into his PhD, which was always a race against the clock. “I was getting on a bit, had a family and knew that in four years’ time I had to be back at the company. There were plenty of late nights and I felt that I was working flat out. You do, after all, want your work to be published. And then one day you discover that you’ve spent loads of time on an idea and a paper that just won’t go anywhere.” The competitive mentality is very much alive in academia. “Competition to get published and get into the best journals is fierce. I asked myself whether I wanted to change the world or just satisfy my own curiosity. The answer I got to was that I was too old to be a true idealist, but that I wanted to do something for myself and make a small contribution to understanding.” What was the result? “A major brain upgrade! I got to work in a dynamic young environment, and it was incredibly positive. What I struggled most with was the fine-polishing – I’m a practical man, and there’s lots of fine-polishing in academia. I still want to be published, but the most important thing is that I’ve finished my PhD and produced a good piece of work.”

The PhD was worth the effort. “These days I’m really using my expertise to the max. It’s the first time in my working life that I’ve felt this way. The PhD has turned me into more of a problem-solver. I help to build models that are actually used and that ensure that the right decisions are made every day. It’s a far cry from sitting and writing research for years on end.” Why does industry need people with PhDs? “Both industry and public administration have the same need for precision, hypotheses have to be tested, and this requires specialist training and quantitative expertise. If, for example, you want to test the effect of a stop-smoking campaign, you’ll need people who know how to measure the effects of campaigns. Without that expertise, you’ll have to buy in expensive consultancy services.” Aarbu believes that both industry and academia benefit from having an open door between them. “It means that ideas flow more easily, relevant problems are researched thoroughly, and industry is on the receiving end of the top-notch expertise it needs. Every decision should be based on knowledge.” The “return trip” has been all about values. “In a nutshell? Better pay, more managers, more practical work, less freedom and a wide range of talented people to have lunch with.”



Dennis Frestad is delighted on behalf of his company that it is raining. He has just waved farewell to academia in favour of the hydropower sector.


“Our raw material is a gift from the gods.”

name Dennis Frestad position Senior risk analyst at Agder Energi qualifications Cand Polit in economics from the University of Oslo, PhD in business administration from NHH background Worked in finance and the power sector before starting his PhD Has taught corporate finance and supervised master’s theses at the University of Agder since 2007


is boxes are packed and stacked along the walls ready for his departure. The time has come to leave academia for a new job with Agder Energi, where he will be responsible for working out how the company’s future cashflows will be affected by the weather, and for assessing what measures need to be put into place to safeguard the company’s finances. Given his PhD (Essays on electricity swap price dynamics and corporate risk management) he is in the right place. So long academia. “Yes, all done here, I’m moving on. Formally I’m on a year’s sabbatical and I haven’t ruled out coming back one day, but my main reason for leaving is that sometimes it gets a bit too lonely here – you come up with your own research questions and then investigate them on your own. We tend to think that all the clever people work in academia, but they do find their way into industry too.” He worked for Agder Energi from 1995 to 2004 when he started his doctoral studies, gaining his PhD in 2007. To date he has published seven international articles, six as the sole author. “I’ve been switching backwards and forwards between industry and academia. When I last finished at Agder Energi, I wanted to immerse myself in my subject. I’m incredibly grateful that I’ve been paid to read and write for three years. Teaching is also a useful experience to have under your beltBut now that I’ve done it, I miss being part of a team.”

Frestad has plenty of good reasons to head back into industry. “I’ve had a big raise, found a job that suits me, a much bigger team to work with and real problems to get stuck into. Being right in the thick of it in a company is quite different to working in an office here at the university. Working with meteorologists and engineers challenges my whole way of thinking. I’ve learnt a lot from them.” He often felt that the distance between him as a researcher and the subjects he was researching was too great, and that it was frequently hard to motivate himself after being turned down. “Doing a PhD is an art form. You have to avoid sinking into the depths of despair even if somebody does think that what you’ve produced is a load of rubbish. I’ve learnt a lot from articles that have been rejected. They turned out well in the end.” If someone had told him as a young lad, or any of his teachers for that matter, that he would one day become an academic with a PhD in business administration, nobody would have believed them. “I wasn’t particularly interested in school and, like many boys, didn’t really get it until I’d finished.” ■



Hitting 50 is a good time to do a PhD — you can never have too much education.



name Bjørn Gunnar Hansen position Section manager at TINE qualifications MSc in agricultural economics from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, MSc in business administration from NHH The first person at TINE to work on a PhD at NHH through the Research Council of Norway’s Industrial PhD scheme background Many years with Tine Rådgivning, a division of TINE that works with consultancy and research for milk producers


t least that is how Bjørn Gunnar Hansen sees it. Looking like a character from Norwegian children’s literature in his red-checked shirt, jeans from Moods of Norway, open-toed sandals and suntan, he radiates an energetic restlessness that has taken him all around Norway interviewing farmers for his doctorate. More specifically, finding out how farmers’ human and social capital affects the choices they make when facing problems at work. “I linked the interview data with production data and financial data from the farms to find out how the farmers’ approach, education and social network impacted on production and finances. I’ve made it round every corner of Norway. As I was brought up on a farm and have milked quite a few cows in my time, I quickly hit it off with the farmers and brought back plenty of interesting tales. I’ve enjoyed my exposure to a bit of real life.” Bjørn Gunnar started his Industrial PhD as a mature student in 2009 after completing his master’s. “I’d reached a point in my working life where I knew that I needed topping up. You can’t live on the same knowledge base from when you’re 25 until you’re 67. It’s not enough to rely on what I learnt ‘back when I was a student’. Learning will be a lifelong process in years to come.”

No sooner said than done, but it was far from cheap. “I remember the first hour of my first day as an economics student. It was 2 pm on 24 August 2007 and I remember thinking that it was time to get serious, that from then on I’d be earning a third of what I was used to. After a year and a half I worked out that my master’s had cost me NOK 420,000 after tax, but at least I’d had plenty of fun for my money!” Bjørn Gunnar switched between working two-thirds time and one-third time for TINE while at university. “It’s good to take a break and do something different. I got on well with the staff and the students who were 20 years younger than I was. I was old enough to be their father in most cases, and I became a kind of mentor. I think that the staff, for their part, valued having a student who’d actually had a job, and I was able share the experience I’d gained at work. In a nutshell, I had a great time as a student!”

expertise once the project has finished. The Industrial PhD is a really good scheme and I’ve presented many of my findings to farmers and advisors through my job at TINE. The feedback has been good. We’ve gathered a lot of very interesting data and its downright fun, the stuff I’m working on.” What is your goal? “It’s quite easy to develop and get on in life. When people ask what I plan to do when I grow up, I always say that I hope I never grow up! It sounds so boring. My goal is to enjoy the journey, and to never actually get there.” Bjørn Gunnar advises anyone with a dream to take a break from working life and pursue it. “Study, buy a motorbike or cycle around the world if that’s what your dream is. Life’s too short to be stuck on a treadmill paying back a mortgage. You always have a choice.”

It was an easy decision when he was accepted onto the Research Council’s Industrial PHD scheme. “If I have an idea I ask my boss whether I can follow it up. As an employer, TINE not only pays for a report but is part of the entire project, which means that it gets to hang on to the


Š 2012 the national research school in business economics and administration.

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